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Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

Mozart’s Sister, directed by René Féret,  presents a behind-the-scenes look at the life of the Mozart family: ambitious patriarch Leopold, his doting wife Anna-Maria, and his gifted children Woofgang and Nannerl (played by Feret’s daughter, Marie). The film contrasts the exterior aspect of the musical family, including the children’s performances at court with an interior portrait of a family who engages in pillow fights at bed-time, and more sinisterly, the unyielding favoritism that Leopold showed his young son. The rigid Leopold squelches his young daughter’s talents by not only refusing her an education, but by falsely telling her that her compositions (which he passes off as those of Wolfgang) lack merit. The mistreatment of Nannerl was not unusual at the time.  In his book “The Other Mendelssohn,” Larry Todd describes the life of another talented and relatively unknown composer, Fanny Mendelssohn, sister of Felix.

It is fitting that the talented young Nannerl composes pieces in a minor key. Melancholy permeates her character, and the dark cinematography symbolises the shadows to which she is relegated.

A dose of light-hearted Shakespearean cross-dressing adds a dose of intrigue, and Nannerl’s new found chum Princess Louise (played with vivacity by Feret’s real life sister, Lisa) allows a flower of friendship to flourish between two passionate young women confined by the walls of the court, the church, and their fathers.

Photo: Real Life Sisters Lisa Feret and Marie Feret, playing Louise De France and Nannerl Mozart

For trailers and showtimes, please see:

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/mozartssister/

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Review: Young Director’s Night at LACMA

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

On March 5, LACMA Muse presented its 10th Annual Young Director’s Night. Six talented young directors presented a wide range of creative films.

Left. Sylvia Sether’s “Overdrawn.” Winner of the Art of Film Award

Cat Youell’s “The Mischievous Case of Cordelia Botkin” brought to light a true story episode from 19th century San Francisco history (death by chocolate) with charm and humor.  Sylvia Sether’s “Overdrawn, (and winner of the Fourth Art of Film Award) exhibited comedic chops and timing in its depiction of a single bank teller pushed to the edge. Jordan Bloch’s “Underdogs,” created unsettling tension as a bounty hunter wreaked havoc amongst diners in a roadside restaurant.

Left. “House of Olive Trees” directed by Thouly Dosiois

Thouly Dosiois’ beautifully shot “House of the Olive Trees,” set in Greece, was reminiscent of the films of Eric Rohmer in her marvelously sensuous shots of setting, slowly unfolding before our eyes. Fady Hadid’s unforgettable “Where We Live” documented the family life and loss of American immigrants from Baghdad with humanism and sensitivity.

Left. “Shoot the Moon” directed by Alex O’ Flinn

Director Alex O’ Flinn’s compelling “Shoot the Moon,” depicted the relationship between Tommy and his troubled brother, Victor, a Marine. O’ Flinn’s cinematography was pure visual poetry. The sunny, dreamlike warmth during flashback scenes depicting Tommy walking through fields with Victor and his ex-girlfriend contrasted with the gritty reality of Victor’s present, providing clues to his raw despair. O’ Flinn’s wealth of striking images (all the more incredible given that it was a short film) gave the audience immediate and profound access to the complex characters’ interior life. The filmmaker’s vision lifted storytelling away from restrictive Black and White; instead, O’Flinn probed life’s rich gray area, thereby offering hope for redemption and the chance to shoot the moon.

Kudos to LACMA for allowing these talented young directors a chance to showcase their vision and inspiring us all to shoot the moon.

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